Why Saying "I Love You" Less, Means More

Updated on September 28, 2014

Saying "I love you" in a relationship is a big and important step - or at least it should be. Those three words, when carrying the right meaning behind them, can be the stepping-stone towards taking a relationship to the next level. Lately, however, how exactly popular has saying "I love you" become? Perhaps too popular, for in some cases, if the words fly out of our mouths all the time, or perhaps too soon, the meaning can become lost in translation, and the value of hearing and saying it fades.

I was laying awake before bed, and had made the move to say the nightly "I love you" to my boyfriend. We have almost been dating for a year, although only a month ago, have made that big leap and started saying "I love you" to each other. We both waited, out of fear of lack of reciprocation from the other, until I got up the courage to say it first. It occurred to me then, as I rolled away to my side of the bed and he said the words back to me, that I was the one who most commonly has said them first ever since. Feeling comfortable and bold enough, I decided to come right out with it and ask him why.

His response was, that he didn't like saying it so often because he didn't want the words to lose their meaning. He wanted to say it when the moment was special, not trivial. Also, he believed that by saying it, we were stating the obvious. We both know, and it goes without saying, that we are in love with each other.

Taking a moment to contemplate his reasoning, I realized, it made perfect sense. I could understand his fear of saying "I love you" to lose its meaning and importance, for, it had so much to begin with, especially the first few times we said it to each other. We both, in previous conversations, had also established that we developed a negative attitude towards saying "I love you", both because of the redundancy of hearing it said, or saying it ourselves in high school. Saying it too soon, saying it without meaning it, saying it without even knowing the value of the words themselves. Also, saying it without the feelings being reciprocated, or, having it said to us and having it turning out to be nothing but a lie.

So, when I go to say the words "I love you", I make sure that, not only do I truly mean it when I say it, it is also being said at an appropriate time, an appropriate place. I don't say it every single time it comes to mind, for I know that my boyfriend is very well aware that I love him. It's the first time in a while, that in a relationship I've been challenged with a more mature and sensible approach to love, and not wearing out or misconstruing the meaning of telling each other that we love each other. It's a refreshing outlook and a new take on a subject that I would otherwise never have considered.

Saying "I love you" has a lot of meaning, so, it only makes sense to save it for when the moments are special. If we get too used to saying it to each other, we'll find it coming out of our mouths at times where, saying it carries little value. Maybe "I love you" was and always meant to be a complicated thing to figure out, and even when we know we mean it, there's a little process of considering when saying it is just right.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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